Monday, May 14, 2007
Rescuers searched for 16 missing crew members of a South Korean cargo vessel that sank after colliding with a Chinese freighter in heavy fog in waters off northeast China, coast guard officials said. Chinese maritime authorities mobilized 22 boats and two helicopters for search and rescue operations, but no survivors or bodies have been found, said Yang Jong-ta, a South Korean coast guard official. "Two life rafts were found but no one was aboard," another coast guard official who identified himself only by his family name, Suh, told reporters after talking to Chinese maritime officials. Sixteen crew were on board the 3,800-ton Golden Rose when it sank around 4 a.m. Saturday, about 40 miles southeast of Dalian, Suh said. They included one Indonesian, seven South Koreans and eight from Myanmar.
Golden RoseThe crew of the Chinese ship — the 4,800-ton JinSheng — were unharmed and returned safely to Dalian, a coastal city in northeastern Liaoning province, where they reported the incident to Chinese authorities about seven hours after the collision, Yang said. South Korea's coast guard sent a telegram to Chinese maritime authorities demanding a thorough investigation into why there was a delay in reporting the accident, and proposing a joint rescue operation, Yang told the reporters. Chinese maritime authorities told South Korean coast guard officials that they dispatched a rescue team to the site immediately after learning of the accident, but rejected a call for a joint rescue operation. The South Korean shipping company that manages the Golden Rose, Bukwang shipping Co., reported the accident to South Korea's Coast Guard, Suh said. Chinese authorities blamed thick fog for the collision, he said.